Hollick may link with venture capital group for football TV

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The Independent Online
Guinness Mahon Development Capital (GMDC), the venture capital company, is considering linking with United News & Media to develop pay- TV channels for Glasgow Rangers and Derby County football clubs.

United already has links with GMDC through a pounds 2.5m investment in the group's Global Rights Fund. The fund specialises in backing unquoted companies involved in intellectual properties in the media, entertainment, information and leisure industries.

Gordon Power, managing director of GMDC, said yesterday that discussions with Rangers and Derby were going on, but it would be some time before a deal was signed. "There are an enormous quantity of rights available," he said. "The careful management and exploitation of sports rights needs considerable thought."

GMDC would provide the initial investment in a Rangers or Derby channel and would oversee the management of the clubs' brands internationally.

United has been having talks with a wide variety of clubs in a bid to compete with other broadcasters such as Granada, which last month linked up with BSkyB and Manchester United to form MUTV.

Earlier this month, United was looking at the possibility of linking up with Southampton Leisure on a pay-TV channel for Southampton football club. Lord Hollick's media group has also been linked to plans for a Leeds United channel.

Sony Music Entertainment is the other trade investor in GMDC's media fund, with a share worth pounds 2m.